Y S Vijayamma, honorary president of YSR Congress party, faced protests from pro-Telangana activists when she set out from Hyderabad, on Monday morning, to Sircilla in Karimnagar district to undertake a dharna to highlight the problems of handloom weavers.

A pitched battle was fought between activists of YSR Congress Party and those of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which is opposed to her visit, at Jakkapur village, about 30 km away from Sircilla in neighbouring Medak district. TRS activists pelted stones at Ms. Vijayamma's convoy damaging the windscreens of nearly a dozen vehicles.

Police chased away the Telangana activists by wielding lathis and averted a serious clash. Heavy security was provided all along the route from Hyderabad to Sircilla as the TRS had made its intentions clear that it would oppose Ms Vijayamma's protest as her party had failed to spell out its stand on Telangana issue.

Incidents of desecration of some statues of YSR were reported in Hyderabad and in Karimnagar district, where some preventive arrests of TRS activists were being made since Sunday night. A few TRS supporters were taken into preventive custody from the TRS head office in Jubilee Hills and others in Alwal and Tukaramgate areas when they tried to obstruct Ms Vijayamma's convoy.

Protesting against the action of the police, TRS MLAs and party leaders rushed to the Secretariat and complained to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy against the high-handedness of the police, particularly in entering the TRS head office and arresting party activists. Some of them staged a dharna outside the Chief Minister's office and were taken into custody by the police.

In Sircilla town, the YSR Congress leaders have mobilised huge crowds to join Ms Vijayamma's dharna. DIG of Police, Karimnagar Range, Ramulu Naik and Superintendent of Police P V Ravindra are camping in Sircilla town to supervise the security arrangements around the Ambedkar statue in the centre of the town where Ms Vijayamma plans to sit in dharna. As a precautionary measure, police took several Telangana activists into preventive custody on Sunday.

Our Staff Reporter from Sangareddy adds:

Police had to use teargas to quell the mob that was attempting to prevent YSRCP honorary president, Vijayamma's convoy from proceeding further between Gurralagondi and Jakkapur in Medak district.

Windowpanes of more than 40 vehicles in the convoy were damaged at Jakkapur as agitators pelted stones.Tension prevailed all through Rajiv Rahadari in Medak district on Monday when Y.S. Vijayamma, honorary president of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) passed through this district to participate in a dharna in support to weavers at Siricilla in Karimnagar district.

As soon as the large convoy entered the district at Ontimamidi, some of the TRS workers tried to hold dharna on the highway but were prevented by the police. At Duddeda of Kondapaka mandal, some of the TRS workers destroyed the flexi board welcoming Ms. Vijayamamma leading to tension. The TRS activists pelted eggs and stones at two places – Duddeda and Yellamma temple Siddipet. The supporters of the YSRCP who came in the convoy also retaliated by throwing the stones.

The clash between the agitators and police went for more than 20 minutes at Jakkapur village bordering Karimnagar district as large number of protesters came on the road with footwear and stones.

The 50- k.m. journey on Rajiv Rahadari by Ms. Vijayamma faced several obstructions during the three hour journey but there was no major incident as police took all the precautionary measures including imposition of Section 144 and preventive arrests of several TRS leaders including T. Harish Rao, S Ramalinga Reddy and others.

On her way, Ms. Vijayamma stopped at Rangadhampally and paid tributes at Telangana martyrs statue before leaving to Sircilla. Schools and business establishments remained closed in Siddipet town. Police started arresting TRS leaders from Sunday night and it continued till late on Monday afternoon.

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